Two days after the tractor parade which was meant to highlight the demands of the protesting farmer unions dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the national capital on Republic Day, Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu and gangster-turned activist Lakka Sadana have been booked in connection with the violence at Red Fort.
Earlier on Wednesday Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP_ Chinmoy Biswal wrote to the organiser of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, Darshan Pal, urging him to answer why action should not be taken against him and his allies for breaking an agreement regarding the protest routes on Republic Day. According to sources, the DCP has sought reply within next 3 days. So far, 19 people have been arrested and over 25 criminal cases have been registered by Delhi Police in connection with tractor rally violence, said Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava on Wednesday.
According to the orders released by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Red Fort will remain shut for visitors from January 27 to January 31. The order issued by ASI does not reveal the reason for closing the Red Fort. However, the order refers to earlier orders of January 6 and January 18 whereby the iconic monument was closed from January 19 to January 22 due to a bird flu alert.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism sought a report from ASI assessing the damages caused to the historic monument. As per sources, the ASI report will be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs. Union Minister of Culture & Tourism Prahlad Patel had visited the Red Fort on Wednesday morning to take stock of the damages caused. The ASI report is expected to be submitted by today evening.
Besides this, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPR) has asked the Delhi Police to take actions against perpetrators of yesterday's violence because due to the tractor rally violence many children got stuck in the Red Fort. NCPCR has asked the Police to submit its report within the next 48 hours.
Nearly 300 artists, including children, who were part of the Republic Day parade on Tuesday were rescued by Delhi Police after they got stranded near the Red Fort as the farmers' tractor parade turned violent and protesters broke barricades and stormed the Red Fort.
"There were around 300 artists including children at the Red Fort. As the situation developed, we provided them with food and shifted them to a safe place Daryaganj Mess," said DCP (North) Anto Alphonse.
As India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day, the farmers' tractor rally which was planned on nine pre-decided routes turned violent at points. Some farmers forcibly entered Central Delhi, clashing with Delhi police and planted flags at the Red Fort. The entire area saw chaotic scenes for hours as the protesters threw stones at police and damaged vehicles. Police personnel tried to control the mob by baton-charging them and lobbing tear gas shells.
After 11 rounds of Centre-farmer talks, both failed to reach a mutual decision last week after a five-hour meeting with the associations refusing to agree to the Centre's proposal for suspending the implementation of the aforesaid legislation for one and a half years. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar categorically said that the Union government is ready for another meeting only if the farmers want to discuss this proposal. Thereafter, the protesting farmers had come to an agreement with the Delhi police to hold their Republic Day tractor rally peacefully.
The Delhi Police had permitted farmers to take out the tractor rally on three routes emanating from the Singhu border, the Tikri border, and the Ghazipur border covering 62 km, 60 km, and 46 km respectively. Darshan Pal, Rajinder Singh, Balbir Singh Rajewal, Buta Singh Burjgil, and Joginder Singh Ugraha were asked to coordinate with the police during the rally. Additionally, the Police mandated that a maximum of 5000 persons with 5000 tractors can participate in the Republic Day rally from noon to 5 pm. However, the rally took a violent turn after groups of farmers broke police barricades at the Delhi border to enter the national capital before the allocated time.
(With ANI inputs)